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In December 1998 the New York State Legislature passed the New York State Charter Schools Act. The goal of this act is to provide opportunities for teachers, parents, and community members to establish independent and autonomous public schools to improve student learning and achievement; increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on students who are at risk of academic failure; encourage use of different and innovative teaching methods; and create new professional opportunities for teachers, school administrators, and other school personnel.
Charter Schools offer an important opportunity to promote educational innovation and excellence. Charter schools bring new leaders, resources, and ideas into public education. With the recent reauthorization of the Charter Schools Act, more charter schools can be authorized to open in New York City. And as part of the Department of Education's overall reform strategy, charter schools are valued as another important way to deliver quality education to students.